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12 Spicy Cocktails You Can Make With Chili Peppers

Picture of Alexia Wulff
Updated: 6 March 2017
Spice is an essential part of the diet for many cultures around the world, from Mexico to India. And while most recipes include chilies to evoke the sensation of “heat” (known as that tingling feeling on the taste buds), these types of peppers also improve insulin regulation and are a source of vitamin C and carotene. So why not turn up the heat – while also gaining the benefits – with these 12 cocktail recipes.

Garden Paloma

Created by the head bartender at New York‘s Raines Law Room, sip and savor on a bit of Latin flavor with this heated spin on the traditional Paloma.

Get the recipe from Serious Eats

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Enjoy a Garden Paloma | © Shutterstock

Habanero Pisco Sour

Beware of untamed habaneros. Pro tip: test a pepper first to gauge the level of heat.

Get the recipe from Pisco Trail.

The Burning Mandarin Martini

Equal parts sweet and spicy, this one calls for citrus to balance out muddled serrano peppers.

Get the recipe from Cayenne Diane.

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Try the tangy Burning Mandarin Martini | © Shutterstock

Jalapeño Margarita

Tequila, lime, and jalapeño – there is no better combination. Chips and salsa not included.

Get the recipe from Love and Lemons.

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Add a spicy kick to your Margarita | © Shutterstock

This Spicy Bourbon Drink

Fruit liqueurs are usually a tell-tale sign of a hangover. But Cherry Heering, made with Danish cherries and spices, adds just a touch of sweetness. Shaken with bourbon, Meyer lemon, and Thai chili honey, this is a cocktail even whiskey purists will love.

Get the recipe from Bon Appétit.

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Savor a spicy bourbon cocktail | © Shutterstock

Smokey Spicy Lemon

An adult lemonade with a kick. This recipe calls for chipotle-honey simple syrup, but opt for fresh chilies instead.

Get the recipe from Set the Table.

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Put a dash of spice in your lemon cocktail | © Shutterstock

Spicy Passionfruit Mezcal Cocktail, or the “Don Diablo”

Miami’s Bodega Taqueria y Tequila replaces tequila with mezcal for a sweet, sour, and bubbly libation that will have you singing “1 Tequila, 2 Tequila, 3 Tequila, Floor” in no time.

Get the recipe from Eater.

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Try the refreshing “Don Diablo” | © Shutterstock

Strawberry-Pineapple Hotness

Made with chipotles, strawberries, and pineapple, who knew capsaicin could taste so good?

Get the recipe from Bon Appétit.

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Add a kick your pineapple beverage | © Shutterstock

Spicy Cucumber Cocktail

Cool as a cucumber.

Get the recipe from Chili Pepper Madness.

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Tantalize the tastebuds with a cucumber cocktail | © Shutterstock

Spicy Bitter Michelada

Beer, fresh chilies, tomato, and lemon juice – cheers to the ultimate hangover cure.

Get the recipe from Feed Me Dearly.

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Help your hangover with a spicy Michelada | © Shutterstock

Jalapeñyaaas Queen

Aptly named, this one features gin, rosemary, pineapple, and jalapeño. The added bonus? The simple syrup, which also has gin.

Get the recipe from Food 52.

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Try a Jalapeñyaaas Queen | © Shutterstock

Spicy Watermelon Mezcal Holiday Cocktail

Sweet, spicy, smoky – this cocktail hits all the right notes. Summer can’t arrive fast enough.

Get the recipe from Pretty Prudent.

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Look forward to summer with the Spicy Watermelon Mezcal Holiday Cocktail | © Shutterstock